This is the fifteenth of the series of reflections arising from a month in silence and solitude; the musings invite the reader to explore the Truth for himself or herself. May the writer's reflections be windows to look in, or out, onto the vista of our one Beloved, our deepest, truest Self. Peace! Brian K
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Melt like snow, wash yourself of yourself,
and let love grow in your soul, silent as a lily.
*Rumi. Rumi's Little Book of Life. Trans. Maryam Mafi, Azima Melita Kolin.
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Persons seem to assume "home" means a house, a place with family. That is usually what is meant. And, even, the town or city or rural community where one was raised from childhood, that can mean home. Is that all home is? Could it be so much more? Could home not have to mean a place at all, or family?
Before leaving the month of solitude, I was sad to leave. Even four weeks and I felt home, like this was home now. I wondered what I would sense when returning to my rented cabin by the river. In retreat, I had begun sleeping in the little meditation room the last about week-and-a-half. I sensed a calm there, a restfulness, not matched in the bedroom. In the little room, I meditated, read, wrote, ate, ... There rested my meditation cushion and bench in the corner. I enjoyed opening the little window, and listening to the birdsong outside. I would open the door, and eat with the door open, looking out onto the wood. One day, I opened it, and two little fawns, about knee high, were eating out back. I had never seen two deer so small. The little legs were like tooth picks. They saw me, walked off some, turned back and kept looking, I guess wondering what this creature is. One moved closer back and kept lifting the right front leg. Finally, they went back into the forest. Lovely! I felt like this one little room, this could be my home, just this tiny room.
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Years ago, I read a writer expound on a saying from the Gospels of Jesus, in the Christian Scriptures, where the Gospel says, "He had no where to lay his head." Yes, if one reads the Gospels, Jesus is always on the move, he seems unable to hide away from people, even when he needs some rest and alone time. In retreat, this arose to me, felt inside. I sensed my life had always been alone, and thought of the many times I had moved, maybe over thirty times. I considered a deeper meaning to this, as did that writer expounding on this. I penned a writing, after reading the earlier take on this Gospel saying, sharing of how this homelessness of Jesus was not about being houseless, away from family, apart from the village of his youth. Not having a place to call home was more than about outer geography, for Jesus and us. Yet, many, maybe most, persons do not see that and remain homeless, even living inside a mansion. We could say, not about home but about Home.
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I published, later, a musing on sitting on my back porch in South Florida. I looked into the sky. What came to mind is, "This is not my home here" ~ and here did not mean the house I was living in then. I was not suicidal, no idea of that at all, and not depressed or any marked sadness. I felt and thought, however, if I die, very okay. I felt a homesickness. Dying, for me, that would mean going home. I felt a deep, in-the-bone ache to get out of the body, to get away from all the forms of this world. I longed for intimacy with Grace, so close free of all veils of matter.
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Another thought came to me in solitude, something I, also, had published. Just days from living on the street, having no place to stay, and deciding I could live in my little truck at a truck stop near my work. There, I could buy food and take a shower. The man owning the home in which I lived was selling it, he had given me only four days to get out. I did not have the money for a deposit on rent. Then, riding over a bridge from my job at the jail, as Chaplain, I was driving back for one of the last nights in that place. I heard a voice, "I have a home for you." So elated was I, I called a dear friend living in Gainesville, Florida, from where I was near Ft. Myers, Florida. I told her. I learned from this, as from other events, often we receive guidance and we take it one way, it means something else. So, within a few days, I was placed in a full, beautiful home to live in, free of rent. I had moved from one room, ended up in a nice three-bedroom home, good neighborhood, and the family would not let me pay them a cent for it. They were living up North and had been told of my need and that I was a Chaplain at the jail. They wanted to provide help. I stayed there two years. When I called another friend, the night of moving into this new house, I told her of the words from the bridge and of this home I had just walked into, another intuition arose, this was not the home spoken of when I was on the bridge. I was confused, how could it not be? I wanted it to be. Yet, Grace never speaks but truth, so that "home" must mean something else. I felt that for sure. What could it mean?
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The only conclusion I could come to is the voice might mean something I could not see yet. Possibly, home, like life, means many things, and what it means changes over time. Still, I would like to say what it means now to me, at least one aspect of home, or Home.
Home means to be where Love is. I do not mean where I am around others who love me and whom I love. This, as with Jesus, is not about outer geography, but about an Inner landscape, unseen to eyes, even mind cannot grasp it. I simply mean what I wrote, nothing more, where Love is. Love, at any one time, may be being surrounded by others, or it may mean what you know and experience all alone. Sometimes, home seems to become more near, exactly when we feel alone, isolated, or betrayed by those we had trusted with our heart. I wonder if anyone can enjoy the home I am writing of today, in a real deep way, unless they have felt deeply the sense of being betrayed, left, uncared for, thrown away, by persons who had affirmed how much they loved him or her.
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Solitude, retreating within, can open to us a Home not of this world, yet one that is here deeply within this world, appearing in many places. In a way, I think persons who have not had the companionship or love from persons they longed for in this life, have been fortunate, if that has led them to go deeper within and know a Love that no one can give. That Love is within us, not separate from us, but we escape it, again and again, seeking to fulfill that true longing, the call to home, by immersing ourselves in persons and things that cannot give it. Even our constant need to be with others becomes a betrayal of our heart longing for Intimacy. And how sad that we may use another person, putting the responsibility on him, or her, or them to fulfill a need no human or community can give. How sad.
The Home within me and the Home within you is the same, and that can join, Heart to Heart. That, however, is not something I give you, or you give me. When that happens, Home is with Home, not "I" with "you." I have nothing to offer anyone, only Grace does; I am only to be an open vessel Love fills to pour Itself out from in inviting a communion in but not of this world.
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Concluding, I found peace to arise, not long ago, when feeling very much alone in this world. I felt deep hurt, much disappointment in some things that had happened in relationships. I, then, had trusted someone with those feelings, and felt instructed, rather than simply deeply heard. The reply took me all the way back to childhood, and how I had been talked to then at times, when hurting and sad. I felt my openness, which was a sacred trust, had been betrayed. I realized the person meant no harm. So, I simply took all the heart-hurt into Silence, rather than try to escape it, resolve it, or explain it. The last thing I wanted or needed was an explanation or a spiritual recipe to resolve the pain. That night, I sat on my meditation bench, late in the night, in the Quietness. From the Silence, a prayer arose to the Beloved, and with it the sense of Home, of Presence in which I am not and cannot be apart from Love, no one can. The prayer went like this, with bowed head and simply, and Peace arose, deep, quiet Joy:
Dear Beloved, if you want me all to Yourself,
to no other,
I accept that.
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*All material, unless another source is cited, is authored by the presenter of Lotus of Heart, Brian Kenneth Wilcox, Florida USA. Use of the material is permitted; Brian only requests that credit be given and to be notified at firstname.lastname@example.org .
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union, is available through major booksellers.
*Move cursor over pictures for photographer and title.